close

News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

Ready for negotiations but will not surrender: Rouhani on standoff with US

File photo: US President Donald Trump and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Tehran Jul 24, 2019, 03.21 PM (IST)

Iran is ready for "just" negotiations but not if they mean surrender, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, without saying what talks he had in mind.

Rouhani seemed to be referring to possible negotiations with the United States. US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year but has said he is willing to hold talks with the Islamic Republic.

"As long as I have the responsibility for the executive duties of the country, we are completely ready for just, legal and honest negotiations to solve the problems," Rouhani said, according to his official website.

"But at the same time we are not ready to sit at the table of surrender under the name of negotiations."

Meanwhile, the US military said that a Navy ship had "destroyed" an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the aircraft threatened the vessel, but Iran said it had no information about losing a drone.

"This was a defensive action by the USS Boxer in response to aggressive interactions by two Iranian UAS platforms in international waters," Lieutenant Colonel Earl Brown, a US Central Command spokesman, said. UAS is an acronym for unmanned aerial system.

Tensions in the Gulf region are high, with fears that the United States and Iran could stumble into war.

The United States has blamed Iran for a series of attacks since mid-May on shipping around the Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important oil artery. Tehran rejects the allegations.

Iran in June shot down a US military surveillance drone in the Gulf with a surface-to-air missile. Iran says the drone was in its airspace, but Washington says it was in international skies.

President Donald Trump said at the time the United States had come close to launching a military strike on Iran in retaliation for the downing of the US drone.

The increased use of drones by Iran and its allies for surveillance and attacks across the Middle East is raising alarms in Washington.
 

Story highlights

Tensions in the Gulf region are high, with fears that the United States and Iran could stumble into war.